Being Thankful Even Through Hard Times
Thanksgiving is generally thought of as a day to feast and enjoy food while gathered around a table with family and friends. But, Thanksgiving is also a season of reflection and to some, a season of heartache and worry. I believe that many of us try to be consciously thankful every day of the year, but that is sometimes easier said than done.
What I'm thankful for
Thanksgiving is an opportunity to count our blessings. In celebration of the day, many of us even go around the table and say what we are thankful for out loud. There are many things that I am personally thankful for, but one thing that I always say that I am thankful for at the Thanksgiving table is the vision I still have. And when I do, I always get choked up. You see, I am thankful for the vision I still have...but I’m really sad that it’s something I need to say out loud.
During this holiday season, I think it’s important to remember that some of us are struggling with feeling thankful. Not all Thanksgivings are the same.
Thanksgivings can feel difficult
It’s no secret that just as many people feel anxious during the holidays as those who feel excitement. Maybe they’re struggling financially or at work, or maybe their personal relationships aren’t as happy as they’d like them to be. This has been a year of the difficult loss of a loved one for some of us and holiday celebrations just don’t feel the same right now. And, if you’re reading this article, you may know too well that many people are on a difficult health journey this holiday season.
These things (and so much more) can make it difficult to feel thankful to be quite honest...you are not alone.
You are not alone
If you’re in that difficult space, that is more than okay. Please know that you’re not alone and that life has this crazy way of giving us the experiences we need through difficult times and change.
I want you to know that I see you, I’ve been there with you, I AM there with you...and know firsthand that unfortunately, the holidays are not always as simple or joyful as we want them to be. Not all of us have families made for Norman Rockwell paintings...some of us are even just trying to survive the day without too much animosity or loneliness and move on.
Not to mention that the holiday itself is quickly becoming our busiest shopping day of the year, taking away from the peace and sanctity that the day was meant to bring.
What we can do to help each other
I think it’s really important to first acknowledge that not everyone’s Thanksgiving table looks the same and that it’s hard to feel thankful when going through hard times. Try to support each other and not criticize or judge. You can’t (and shouldn’t) rush people through their pain or struggles.
If you're not struggling this holiday season but know someone who is...can you reach out and tell them that you are thankful...for them?
It doesn’t take much time or effort to reach out to each other. Check on your loved ones. People don’t always ask for help when they need it. Be sure they have a place to be on Thanksgiving. If you yourself aren’t going through a difficult time right now, try to be there for someone who is. We’ve all been there before and there’s nothing saying it won’t happen again. You never know when you’ll need someone to be there for you.
This too shall pass
There is no handbook on the difficult things in life. Let me encourage you to try to count your blessings out loud during this Thanksgiving even if your blessings make you tear up. Maybe this is a difficult holiday season for you, but the new year has great potential for growth and healing for us all.
Paint your own picture this Thanksgiving,
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